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Backyard chooks
Best breeds for eggs and hot weather

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#1 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

We are moving in February to a large block which has a great chicken run and big weatherproof coop.

Can anyone recommend a chook breed that meets the following criteria:

1. Fullsize
2. Handles heat (will be tropical heat with very wet periods)
3. For eggs, not eating
4. Long laying life- we will keep all chooks till they die of old age but would like as long of a laying life as ppossible

Also, how many chooks would we need to get 2-3 eggs a day? At what age should we get the chooks? Do you have any chook-keeping tips?

#2 asdf89

Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

As a general rule, one chook = one egg a day. May drop off as they age/if they are unwell.

We had Sussex chooks - white with black accents wink.gif in Central QLD, so very hot and humid. As long as they have lots of water and some dirt to scruffle into, they'll be happy. (Also just got generic laying pullets when we couldn't source sussex - either red or black).

One thing we used to do on really hot days was add a bit of treacle/golden syrup to their water. it helped perk them up (like gatorade for us).

ETA: get them as chicks if you want to make sure they are tame, but they are more hard work. get point of lay pullets if you want eggs ASAP (also you're guaranteed you won't get a sneaky rooster - we had a few surprises when getting chicks  tongue.gif )

Edited by asdf89, 19 December 2012 - 10:30 AM.

#3 ez21

Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:35 AM

Here is a link to a handy chicken breed chart showing different attributes of each breed.Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart

#4 ~shannon~

Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:48 AM

I agree with the above.

We got four point of lay hens which were about 18 weeks old and it took another 2-3 weeks in our coop before they started laying. We now get four eggs per day (sometimes they are huge with double yolks). We are also in CQ and it's been ridiculously hot lately, but we have a run that has LOTS of shade, and dirt for them to scratch and lay around in. Haven't heard of the syrup in the water, so might give that a go, but so far they seem happy.

Also, I think our hens are really tame considering we didn't get them as chicks. They happily come up to me or the children (especially if we have some kitchen scraps for them!) and my youngest loves to pet them.

As for breeds, I have no idea what breed our hens are. We bought them from a reputable farm outlet which also sells ducks, geese, squab, all the various seeds and grains, etc. We ended up getting one white, one black and two brown/red so perhaps they are different breeds, but they all get on well. Cost about $18 each I think. The white hen tends to lay the largest eggs. We got different colours because the kids wanted to name them and not get confused!

I've now got a fridge full of eggs and am giving extras to my family members, so it's been great so far.

#5 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

I love my Australorp crosses! Both of the 2 we've had (who were different crosses) were/are very friendly.

Drumstick (our current Australorp) is a great layer. She steadily lays an egg a day.

Our leghorn is flighty.

Our wyandotte is getting friendly now too.

#6 robot sm

Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

My family had hens for years and years, by far the friendliest were always the black ones, so we generally had a mix of black and brown.  The white ones tended to be utterly insane!  They were just general 'chooks' from the local food & grain merchant, so not sure about the breed.  I'm sure there are plenty of not-crazy white breeds out there biggrin.gif

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